The efficacy of the removal of contaminants from wastewater depends on physico-chemical properties of pollutants and the efficiency of treatment plant. Sometimes, low amounts of toxic compounds can be still present in the treated sewage. In this work we considered the effects of contaminant residues in treated wastewaters and of temperatures on Lemna minor L. Treated effluent waters were collected, analyzed and used as duckweed growth medium. In order to better understand the effects of micropollutants and seasonal variation, the plants were grown under ambient conditions for seven days in summer and winter. Relative growth rate, pigments and phenolic compounds concentrations were determined, as well as the activities of catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), guaiacol peroxidase (G-POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO).The pollutant concentrations varied in the two seasons, depending on the industrial and municipal activities and efficiency of treatments. Treated waters contained heavy metals, nitrogenous and phosphorus compounds, surfactants and hydrocarbons. Compared to the control, duckweed growth of treated plants decreased by 25% in summer, while in the winter due to the lower temperatures and the presence of pollutants was completely impeded. The amounts of photosynthetic pigments of treated plants were not significantly affected in the summer, while they were higher than the control in the winter when the effluent had a high nitrogen amount. High CAT activity was registered in both seasons. Treated plants had significantly lower APX activity in the summer (53%) and winter (59%) respect to the controls. The observed inhibition of the peroxidase activities in the exposed plants, confirms the controversy existing in the literature about the variability of enzymatic response in stress condition.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: May 30, 2018
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